Cold chains are often bifurcated into food cold chains and pharmaceutical cold chains.

In terms of food cold chains, an inability to provide an integrated cooling solution results in greater bacteria spoilage, higher rejection rates, and increased risk of contamination. As a result, 40-60% of estimated post-harvest food and fresh produce perishes prior to getting to market, with two-thirds of these losses occurring in the “first mile” from the farm. This amounts to 1.2bn tonnes of produce, which could feed 300m people (source: Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations – FAO).

The World Bank estimates that reducing post-harvest losses by 1% would add a value of $40m per annum, the majority of which would accrue to smallholder farmers (source: Fund for Innovation & Development). 

The cold chain is divided into four stages:


Stage 1

When cold chain starts on the farm (first-mile), it reduces losses and rejections during the grading, cleaning, cutting, and packing processes.

Stage 2

This refers to warehouse refrigeration. Here, longer-term temperature-controlled environments preserve the quality of fresh produce after precooling. This ensures that growers can prudently manage the balance between supply and demand, rather than simply selling full yields immediately after harvesting on flooded agricultural markets to suboptimal prices.

Stage 3

This consists of refrigerated transport by road, rail, sea, or air. Refrigerated transportation relies on technologies like dry ice, gel packs, eutectic plates, liquid nitrogen etc.

Stage 4:

This relates to marketing, specifically, the cooling solutions invoked by retailers to preserve the quality of their produce and can also include household purchases of refrigerators. The fourth stage is equally important, as this is where temperature- and humidity-abuse and cross-contamination problems are most common. Similarly, the importance of pharmaceutical cold chains is also clearly apparent as vaccines must be continuously stored in a limited temperature range from the point of manufacture to actual vaccination.

PIA Togo endeavours to create cold chain logistics in Togo to pursue the objectives such as:

  • Reduction of food wastage and enhanced shelf life.
  • Opening of opportunities for exporting local grown fruits and vegetables to EU, the USA and other countries under various special trade agreements.
  • Employment opportunities and up skilling of human resource (in logistics, warehouse operation & maintenance and other associated services).
  • In/directly contributing for the economy of the country.
  • Health sector in Togo can leverage the warehouse facility to strengthen their supply chain and distribution operation.
  • 10,000 sq.m. at PIA Adetikope and 2500 sq.m. at the airport.

Above facilities would ensure:

  • Growing retail sector in developing economies and growth of urbanization, digital e-commerce,
  • To address global supply chain bottlenecks,
  • Availability of emergency medical requirements, and
  • Globalization in terms of trade and business opportunities for export.